Activate Strategy: Milestones

There are three phases to Strategic Mapping, Appraise, Align and Activate. Let’s talk about activate. This is where the rubber hits the road, by taking action. The talking’s over it’s time to do something. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many well-meaning strategy sessions deteriorate into ineffective talkfests. Ultimately it is only action that will move you forward.

The other constraint I’ve observed is a desire to have the perfect way forward before action is taken. In a fast-moving environment you will never have a perfect solution, because you have imperfect clarity.

The answer is to create momentum and have a process and culture that allows for review and response. At the core of that is clear and simple milestones.

Mike Huckabee said, “It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached.”

Individuals can become frustrated by complexity when milestones aren’t clear, transparent and achievable. Now you have clear 12-month milestones, allow milestone owners to set their own 90-day targets. This creates ownership, more about how to do that in another session.

Coming back to 12-month Milestones; The answer then is simple; create clear, measurable, demonstrable tasks, that are easy to understand and owned by an identified milestone owner. Make this list of actionable milestones, the cornerstone of your 12-month program. Make them visible, easy to understand and transparent to all stakeholders.

If you get this right, resources will flow toward the priorities that will drive your organisation forward. The clear list or one-page plan, by its very nature excludes other possible actions. The great gets attention over the good, and you have clarity of priority. You’re creating the focus of all your stakeholders and resources on what is truly important.

Without this simple tool resources are spread out, there are too many initiatives, confusion reigns and progress is hampered.

The Principle here is that simple, clear, transparent actionable milestones, get done, and progress is made.

It's as simple as steps on a staircase. How do you move from one level to another? Just take one step at a time.

Many of our clients are using our Stragile Method, which is fundamentally based on action oriented milestones. Often the most complex organisations and markets can be distilled down to a simple set of outcomes, which are then linked to foundational 12 months milestones. It often amazes me how simple the steps are in building the capabilities for future success in complex scenarios.

Taking practical steps during a one-day Strategic Mapping session, and creating actionable milestones sounds like a very productive day. It's changed the lives and fortunes of many business owners and their organisations. The ability to be able to step back from an organisation, understand its future requirements and distil that down into clear actions, can be done surprisingly quickly and effectively. So, the core to activating a strategy is a simple set of actionable milestones.

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